Slots Etiquette – Is There Such a Thing?

In 2012, 68-year-old ex-beauty queen Leila Khader was banned from the Park Tower Casino in Knightsbridge, London. Being a patron of that particular establishment for nearly 24 years, the casino’s action came as a shock. Why would they prevent a regular player- one who has already spent more than £400,000 during her visits- from playing? The reason for her suspension according to the casino’s management: people have made “several complaints regarding her slot machine etiquette.”

While the one-armed bandit is located on the lower rungs in the hierarchy of casino games, it is still subjected to certain rules of engagement that its players must follow.

Here are a few pointers on slots etiquette that can help people avoid the same fate as the unfortunate Leila Khader:

Know when a seat is reserved.

Some slots players do leave their seats once in a while to go to the bathroom or get more change. So how do you know when a seat is reserved by a player? Look for these conspicuous signs: 1) a coin cup is placed on the machine’s handle, 2) the seat in front of the machine is leaning towards it, 3) there is a coat, jacket or some other personal belonging draped over the seat, and 4) an attendant is watching over the machine.

Don’t hog the machines.

If you do need to leave your machine for a moment, make sure to come back in a few minutes. There are other players who might want to play it. Some players usually play multiple adjacent machines at the same time. While this practice is not strictly prohibited by casinos, it is highly discouraged especially if the casino is particularly crowded. As a rule of thumb, play only one machine at a time. And if you have a companion who’s not playing, don’t let him or her occupy any of the machines especially if the casino is crowded.

Respect other players’ privacy.

While some people might enjoy the company of a stranger while playing slots, they are the minority. Talking to people who are currently engaged in playing is very taboo. Never look over people’s shoulders if they are playing, and don’t engage them in idle chit-chat especially if you are not acquainted with each other.
Want to tell someone that you want to occupy their machine after they’re done playing? Ask that person politely when he or she will be finished, seat yourself a few machines away, and play until that person leaves. This way, you won’t be breathing down that player’s neck and you get to have first dibs on their seat.

Don’t abuse the machine.

Pounding the buttons aggressively won’t increase your chances on hitting the jackpot. The casino frowns upon this practice since it wears down the slot machines faster.

Tip generously.

Though tipping is more of a personal preference, good casino manners dictate that servers and attendants should be tipped accordingly. If you’ve managed to hit a jackpot, be sure to tip the attendant who will give you your prize anywhere from around .5% to 2% of your winnings.

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